Where innovation, design and custom solar panels have met to protect biking culture
When dashing Deeper team approached MetSolar, they did not know that their long-lasting search is finally going to end. At that time Deeper was working on a promising project – to create the toughest bike lock ever which would solve a problem of millions bikes stolen every year.
The innovative and ambitious project had everything, but one important part – autonomous power solution. The lock needed small solar modules mounted onto both sides of the lock and adjusted to meet strict design and technological requirements. And this happened to be rather difficult to accomplish.
Deeper decided to make the toughest bike lock. Implemented with GPS alarm system, it needed autonomous power solution.
Strong and smart too
Deeper lock started its journey several years ago – and now it is said to be one of the most secure and strong bike locks ever created. It is a GPS-powered security system that tracks and alerts bike owner directly to his smart device about any suspicious changes. In order to achieve this, sufficient amount of energy was needed – and here MetSolar was chosen.
Vytautas Želvys, Deeper lock project coordinator, says a bike lock was aimed to be strong, built-to-last, but also efficient to use. V. Želvys claims they have built-in a 750 mAh battery and added custom-made solar panels to keep that battery going. “I guess every one of us have been in a position where you just can’t charge your gadget – so we decided to use a solar panel, that the lock would work for as long as possible on its own without any effort from the owner. Today we can state that 2 days of charging can power up solar battery for the whole month of usage. I think it’s a brilliant result.”
Deeperlock project faced serious issues finding partners who are skilled and flexible enough to create demanding solar panel prototype.
Finding the right custom solar manufacturer
But not so long ago smile on V. Želvys face was a rare guest. Deeper designers wanted the lock to be not only efficient but also aesthetic. Where to find a company which would cut solar cells into precise little pieces, make it beautiful and powerful enough to sustain the lock systems? – considered Vytautas Želvys.
“We have struggled so hard for so long, looking for a partner that could provide this exact product we needed, according to our design and technological needs. We started to search for companies abroad. But then again, it takes so much time to receive a high quality prototype – because one needs to develop it and then also to deliver it. Finally, we realized that we actually want to know whom we are working with and as time was not on our side, we decided not to waste it anymore and look for partners in Lithuania.”
This shift was essential.
Metsolar took this challenge and made panels which powers up a solar battery for the whole month after just 2 days of charging.
Tiny, aesthetic yet powerful solar solution
Vytautas Želvys says that MetSolar were the only ones that embraced Deeper needs and after several weeks first prototypes were created. Dainius Horbačauskas, Metsolar Head of Commerce, says that it was a challenging task.
“We had to adjust for all sorts of requirements Deeper had, as it was our first product to be used for recreational purposes. Tiny solar modules onto both lock edges had to be aesthetic, but also powerful and strong enough to do the job. Our team’s ability to work in high precision and flexibility met Deeper needs. By using PCB/frontsheet modules with laser cut tiny solar cells we were able to create nicely looking black solar panels which had as much power and toughness as the customer wanted.”
“Prototypes were the best quality compared to everyone we have tried before, – said Vytautas Želvys, – The result is more than satisfying. Collaboration with them made an impression on me that they are not only top specialists, but also – what’s most important to me – real enthusiasts.”
Dainius Horbačauskas says that collaboration with Deeper taught how to work with highly demanding customers and improve even more in manufacturing sophisticated solar modules.
“We are able to make even smaller solar panels than Deeper lock required. It may vary in shape, size and color, we also produce PIPV modules using PCB and various frontsheet options to fit our customer’s product idea and business needs.”
After launching a campaign on Kickstarter, Deeper decided to shift the project’s focus from private customers to business and now Deeperlock will be offered as B2B solution to Lithuanian and worldwide companies.